Home, sunny home

The sunflower habitat consists of prairies and dry, open areas.  It is sometimes a weed in cultivated fields and pastures.  It grows best in sunny, moist, or disturbed areas.  The sunflower is tolerant of high and low temperatures, although more tolerant to low temperatures with the optimum temperature range being 70-78 degrees Fahrenheit. 

For specific details about characteristics like soil type or growth requirements of the sunflower visit the Conservation Plant Characteristics of Helianthus annuus.

 Sunflower field, Courtesy of Erin Silversmith, Wikimedia Commons

Other organisms that live within the habitat of the Helianthus annuus include: prairie grasses, wild flowers, members of the Genus Helianthus, small animals like rodents and snakes and a large variety of insects.  Sunflowers fit into their ecological niche by growing where resources are abundant, yet where disease will not affect them.


United States and Canada distriution map, Coustesy of USDA Natural Resources Conservation CenterThis map shows detail distribution of sunflowers across the United States and Canada, it can be seen that sunflower distribution has spread throughout all of the fifty states as well as through most parts of Canada.

For specific information on Sunflowers in Wisconsin visit the Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium.

World Distribution Map, Courtesy of Global Biodiversity Information Facility

The distribution of Helianthus annuus is throughout almost all of North America from central Canada to northern Mexico.  Also widespread distribution is present across many European countries.  Although not shown on this map Russia is a major cultivating ground for sunflowers, it has become the foremost producer of sunflowers due to its popularity as a form of oil.